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Human Hand Function$
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Lynette A. Jones and Susan J. Lederman

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195173154

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195173154.001.0001

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Neurophysiology of Hand Function

Neurophysiology of Hand Function

(p.24) 3 Neurophysiology of Hand Function
Human Hand Function

Lynette A. Jones

Susan J. Lederman

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers human hand function from a neurophysiological perspective and begins by highlighting several areas of controversy in this research area. The structure and function of the different types of sensory receptors embedded in the hand's skin, muscles, and joints are then described, together with the role of centrally generated corollary discharges in perception. The various classes of mechanoreceptors found in the glabrous and hairy skin of the hand are detailed and the neurophysiological functions of these tactile receptors are described. The properties of cutaneous thermoreceptors and muscle and joint receptors are reviewed and the sensory cortical projections of all these various sensory receptors are described. Finally, this chapter considers the areas in the human cerebral cortex that contribute directly to the control of hand movements.

Keywords:   sensory receptors, mechanoreceptors, Meissner corpuscles, Merkel cells, Pacinian corpuscles, Ruffini endings, thermoreceptors, muscle spindle receptors, primary somatosensory cortex, motor cortex

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